Eyes on AU over Kenya, Djibouti UN Security Council seat dispute

The African Union Heads of State and Government meeting in Addis Ababa this weekend may have to address the continual disagreements on the validity of Kenya’s endorsement to run for the United Nations Security Council seat.

Ahead of the 33rd Ordinary Summit, Kenya had formally sought clarification from the African Union on why Djibouti is still campaigning for the non-permanent member Security Council seat, yet it lost the nomination to Nairobi last year in a vote.

But Djibouti, in response, officially challenged the validity of the vote, arguing in fact the rules of rotation would have automatically granted it the endorsement since it had served at the UNSC fewer times than Kenya.

“Djibouti is formally challenging the process carried out within the African Union which led to Kenya’s competing nomination,” Djibouti said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“This process took place in violation of the rules and traditions of the organisation. Djibouti points out that the texts provide that, in the event of multiple candidacies or lack of consensus, states are chosen according to two principles: That of last rotation and that of frequency.”

Djibouti’s contentious argument is that it would have prevailed in both cases. Kenya served on the UN Security Council in 1977-78 and 1997-98. Djibouti has served once in 1993-94.